WiFi Christmas Tree

Based on an old IKEA JULEN I created a WiFi enabled Christmas tree!


The JULEN tree is at least 10 years old, probably older and has been sitting around in storage without seeing much use. The 10W halogen + 2 W AC motor and ancient AC/AC transformer was a major reason. By using some WS2812B pixels and a Spark Core it can now be controlled from anywhere with an Internet connection and uses at most a fifth of the power!

First look at the TinyDuino

A few days ago I finally got my TinyDuino with various shields, it took a while since I had chosen at least one shield that only recently became available. It’s one of the first projects I backed on Kickstarter actually!

This thing really is tiny! Everything so far has worked out of the box, the motor driver shield will require some soldering of pins that were included but no hurry right now. I loaded the default Arduino blink example and it worked fine, so went ahead and downloaded the examples for the LED shield and the accelerometer shield. Something weird in the LED one though, I couldn’t get it to work properly before I added some debug code. Backing out the debug code showed that doing a Serial.begin() call in setup() made it work. No clue what’s going on there, haven’t used Arduinos at all before. With that working it didn’t take many minutes before I simply had to do a little copy & paste operation to create this little demonstration:

Note that I didn’t have any CR16xx coin batteries available, but that a CR2032 fits well enough. :-)